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The Mount Ayr city council met in regular session Monday, April 20.
The meeting was held in person in the council room while members spread out in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Councilman Ken Robertson attended the meeting by phone.
The bulk of the discussion surrounded current and potential future capital projects.
Mark Fincel, representing Garden and Associates, the firm planning and overseeing the current water project, attended the meeting via teleconference.
Based on a video examination of the system, Fincel had prepared photographs of 14 locations of sewer main breaks throughout the city and told the council that sewage backup in those locations are likely at some point. Plus, he added, only about two-thirds of the system was accessible to the video system.
The discussion then turned to how to proceed with the necessary repairs.
The city had already identified repairs needed at the waste water treatment plant and highway manhole estimated at $365,000. However, with the added costs for the sewer repairs and associated costs, the estimated cost of the project jumped to a total of $516,000.
With their regular duties with the garbage service, summer mowing, assistance with the water project and regular maintenance responsibilities, city superintendent Brent Wise said the city crew would likely not have enough time to accomplish the repairs alone.
Having the city crew handle some of the repairs and hire contractors to complete the remainder was also considered.
Wise recommended the city seek a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to cover the bulk of the costs to repair the plant and sewer system.
The council took no action, pending further research on the location and difficulty level of each of the identified breaks.
The council approved pay requests and a series of change orders associated with the water system improvement project.
The council approved pay requests from Jordan and Sons for $13,796.72, from Poe Construction at $101,619.16, and from Crain Construction for $60,171.34.
In turn the council approved drawdowns from the project’s CDBG fund for $28,957 and from the State Revolving Fund for $164,093.14 to cover the pay requests and associated engineering fees.
The council also approved change order from each contractor: an added $3,125 from Jordan and Sons, an added $13,300 from Poe, and $6,850 from Crain.
The council was informed work on the water system should be completed by early June, after which repairs to lawns will begin.
In other business the council:
• approved a bid of 2.74 cents per gallon from Southern Waste Removal of Mount Ayr for sludge removal at the waste water treatment plant. Superintendent Wise estimated the entire removal would cost approximately $10,000.
• approved a change in job description and position title for Wise pending the approval of a change to a city ordinance. Wise would then be considered the city administrator, a title that allows him to obtain additional specialized training.
• learned the relocation of a city-owned house to a vacant lot on Monroe Street is scheduled for early next week.
• learned that construction on Garfield Street could begin as early as next Wednesday, April 29 as long as concrete intakes are delivered that day. The project should last three weeks at Garfield before moving to Cleveland.